South Dakota State Jackrabbits Preview
Date: Friday, November 15th
Time: 8:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
2018-19 Record: 24-9 (14-2 Summit League)
2019-20 Record: 3-1 (0-0 Summit League)
Coach: Eric Henderson (1st Season)
Odds: Nebraska (-6.5)
Former coach T.J. Otzelberger lead the Jackrabbits to a stellar season in 2018-19. They won the Summit League regular season championship. In the conference tournament they lost to the 8th seeded Western Illinois in an upset 76-79 in the quarterfinals.
While they missed out on the NCAA Tournament, they did get an automatic bid to the NIT. There they were the #7 seed in the Alabama Bracket. There they lost their first round game to #2 Texas in a hard fought game 73-79.
This was the third and final year that T.J. Otzelberger coached the Jackrabbits. His first two seasons had the team in the NCAA Tournament. Both years they were knocked out in the first round. They also won the conference regular season title each year under him. Add in the year before he started and you have a squad that won four straight titles. Coach Otzelberger’s success had him in the cross hairs of a few programs looking for new blood. At the end of the season he left Brookings for Las Vegas and is currently the head coach for UNLV.
The main player of note from this past years team would be forward Mike Daum. Mike came out of Kimball, Nebraska and left quite a legacy for the Jackrabbits. His senior season had him breaking the Summit Conference all time leading scorer record, had over 1,000 career rebounds, and is the 10 player in NCAA history to score over 10,000 points.
He also has a laundry list of awards that would override anything else in this article so I will spare you the reading.
After coach Otzelberger left hired within and promoted Eric Henderson from his assistant coach position.
Right now South Dakota State sits at 3-1 with wins over Texas-Rio Grand Valley, Peru State (Nebraska), and Cal State-Bakersfield. Their lone loss is to Pac-12 member USC.
The main player Nebraska will have an issue with will be 6’7” forward Douglas Wilson. The 210 pound junior college transfer is averaging 19.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. While much of his production was against those first few lesser opponents, he did have 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists against USC in the loss. This all while shooting a very nice 58% from the floor this season.
Expect Douglas to be an aggressive body in the paint and give Nebraska issues as the game goes on. This is nothing new as both losses the Huskers had were against teams who beat them in the paint. SDSU will most likely not be an exception.
Senior guard will also pose a threat to the Huskers. He is only 5’10” but is averaging 11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Again, most of this was to lesser competition. However he did have 8 points and 4 rebounds against USC. He is small but is athletic and can shoot with 42% from the floor so far this year.
Also of note are Nebraska natives David Wingett from Winnebago and Baylor Scheierman of Aurora. They both have been playing off the bench for the Jackrabbits with Wingett averaging 8.3 points and Scheierman 8.8 points per game.
I honestly have no idea if the Huskers will win. On paper, this is the most talented and well coached team that the Huskers have seen. So, after the past two games one would expect anther loss on the record. However, the Huskers are improving and could play a complete enough of a game to pull off the win.
No hard prediction now even with Vegas picking the Huskers to win.